Fourth inning trouble cost the Red Sox a rare early lead, with the Mariners pitching locking down for the final eight to send the Red Sox to a 4-1 loss.
For once, the Red Sox actually managed to take the early lead. After Jason Vargas grabbed two quick outs, Dustin Pedroia hit a long fly ball to center field, resulting in a ground rule double. Cody Ross quickly found right field behind him, and the result was a 1-0 lead.
Clay Buchholz, meanwhile, was impressive through the first three-about as long as any Red Sox starter had lasted in the entire series against the Athletics. In the fourth, however, things started falling apart, and it was in typical September 2011 Red Sox fashion. Ground ball after ground ball got through to start the fourth, and then when Buchholz finally got an out on a fly ball, Ryan Lavarnway gifted the Mariners a run by completely failing to stop a throw from center even when there was originally no attempt to score. Another run came in on a flared single and an error by Jose Iglesias, bobbling a ground ball. By the time it was over, the Mariners had scored four.
Clay Buchholz would settle down from there, even striking out the side in the sixth. He would manage to get through the seventh inning without allowing another earned run. Given the errors, he ended up with just three earned runs along with eight strikeouts and a walk.
Unfortunately, though, holding the Mariners scoreless from there-on-in was not enough without any sort of offensive response from the Red Sox. Dustin Pedroia was about the only player capable of even reaching base, and with Jason Vargas handing the ball off after seven to Josh Kinney and Tom Wilhelmsen for two more scoreless innings, the Sox fell for the seventh straight game.
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